I have a thing for heroes from other countries besides the United States. For instance, I loved Alpha Flight from Canada when John Byrne created them years ago. I even went back to the attempted revivals and gave them a shot as well. I find that books that focus on other countries are very enlightening as far as what the writer and artist think that country is all about.
So of course I’m fascinated by a reincarnation of the Canadian hero Captain Canuck. Originally, the first issue of this comic appeared in 1975, and it was the first successful Canadian comic since the collapse of that nation’s comic-book industry following World War II.
There have been three men to take the name of Captain Canuck. The first Captain Canuck patrolled Canada in the then-future year of 1993, where “Canada had become the most powerful country in the world.” He was the costumed agent of the “Canadian International Security Organization” (CISO).
It is true that the costumes of Captain Canuck and Alpha Flight’s Guardian have been confused since both sport the maple leaf from Canada’s flag. However, the new costume for Cap is much more modern, appearing armor-like
Here’s the comic’s description for the second issue of Captain Canuck, due in comics shops this Wednesday: “The Oilsands are burning! Captain Canuck must fight his way through the inferno to find out what has turned the workers into zombified puppets, while getting the survivors out alive and uninfected. Across the country, Canuck’s brother, Michael Evans is tested on whether he can put loyalty, to his brother and to Equilibrium, before an opportunity for revenge.”
The writer/artist on the project is Kalman Andrasofszky, and he does a great job of updating the hero to today’s situations and sensibilities. We also follow not only the main hero, but his brother as well.
One of the things Andrasofszky does is simplify the mission of the hero. When asked just what it is that Captain Canuck does, when pinned down about it, he responds, “I protect people.” That’s a pretty good reason for being a hero, in my estimation.
The artwork has a darker, more energetic feel to it as well. And the baddies have elements of the ‘70s villains to them, but they also are portrayed much more like bad guys in today’s comics.
Michael Evans is something of a humble yet strong good guy, and I like that take on him. He’s got back-up with a person named Horse, who functions much like the older Bruce Wayne did for Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond. There’s a particularly funny sequence that has to do with Evans taking on a catchphrase that I won’t spoil here, but it was a good one.
But that’s not all. Evans actually has a whole team behind him, and they come in handy every once in a while, as the hero discovers.
While this first story in the book continues on next issue, there’s a back-up story focusing on an earlier version of the hero who was still wearing the leotards of the past when the action takes place.
Part two of the “Arctic Assault” story concludes this time, and it helps feed the need some fans will have for the kind of tale previous incarnations of the Captain experienced. It’s written by Ed Brisson with art from Marcus To. The colorings from Rosemary Cheetham are darker than I expected, but they do make this story a good companion piece for the initial story. It has Captain Canuck taking on sea creatures who give him a rough time of it!
I also like the fact that an animated Captain Canuck story called “Fool’s Gold” has been released, and there appears to be another one in the works called, “The Prometheus Protocol.” When I get the chance, I’m going to pop this first disc in the player and check it out!
Below you’ll find the cover for this issue, so be sure to check it out!